Claire the manatee is home again. The aquatic marine mammal is happy and healthy at a respectable 750 pounds. She slipped back into the Banana River last week, with the help of SeaWorld Orlando’s animal rescue team.
The manatee, also known as a sea cow, was rescued in the river near North Merritt Island, Fla., a year ago with injuries suffered when she was hit by a boat. She was then a svelte 600 pounds — not good for a manatee, and needed to be monitored throughout her recovery.
SeaWorld has helped sick, injured and orphaned animals for 45 years, with a rescue team that’s on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To date, more than 20,000 animals have been rescued. Claire is the fifth manatee returned to the water this year.